“The Public Eye”
Written by Andrew Chambliss
Directed by David Solomon
Madeline is going to testify against the Dollhouse for Senator Perrin, and the Rossum higher-ups tell Adelle to stay out of it because they’ve got it covered. Adelle assumes that means assassinating Madeline, which she and Paul will not tolerate. They send in Echo as a call girl who thinks she’s been assigned to provide blackmail material on the senator. The theory is that the senator’s wife is a sleeper doll, and she’ll be triggered to kill Madeline, so while Echo is keeping the senator busy, Paul goes to retrieve Madeline. However, Madeline has seen lots of pictures of Paul and “Mellie,” so she super doesn’t trust him and makes his extraction attempt go bust. Also, when he whips out the doll-neutralizing device Topher made, it knocks out Madeline but doesn’t work on Mrs. Perrin. The senator figured out Bree the prostitute was actually a doll, and he was on the way to bringing her to his wife. They’re in the driveway when Paul turns on the knock-out device, and they both go down. This gives Echo more access to her other imprints, and she drives them both away in a panic. The senator does not take the revelation that his life is a lie well. Mrs. Perrin, who is his handler, orders Ballard killed and goes to run Echo and the senator down. Ballard escapes and goes to find Madeline. He convinces her to trust him, and she convinces him to let her testify. Echo knocks out Mrs. Perrin after the senator breaks free of the active/handler conditioning. But she comes back with the knock-out device and brings them both to the D.C. Dollhouse, which is way creepier than the L.A. one. Also, the Topher of this house seems to have a very unpleasant history with Caroline.
Yay, arc episode! This is some good stuff. Rossum is capable of chessmastering at a level Adelle can barely grasp, which makes them extremely terrifying. They created a white knight senator to attack the Dollhouse so that they could control how the Dollhouse would be attacked and control the damage, because if they didn’t do it, someone else would, and they wouldn’t stop until they took Rossum down. I also like that the dolls keep their doll architecture after they’re released to be their original selves. It’s like the fine print in a deal with the devil. Yikes.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
How disturbing would it be to be Daniel Perrin? You’re such a public figure that you’d never dream it possible you aren’t real. And then you find out you’re a doll, but you’re a doll based on your own backstory. So instead of knowing you’re 100% fake, you have to question every decision you make—was that you, or was that Rossum? Nuts.
I’m so glad Madeline ended the episode trusting Paul. It would’ve sucked if she’d kept thinking of him as a gross Dollhouse client who was using her on purpose. I mean, there was that one period where he was kind of doing that, but Paul cared about Mellie, and it completely threw him to learn she wasn’t real. I’m glad she can appreciate that now.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.